PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Health and Science University plans to reopen a drive-up COVID-19 testing site next week in Portland as demand for testing increases amid the delta variant surge.
KOIN 6 News learned Thursday that OHSU will open a drive-up testing site at the Portland Expo Center starting Wednesday, Sept. 8. Testing will be free and available by appointment for anyone 2 months old and older.
Details on the hours of operation and how to make an appointment were not immediately available. KOIN 6 is working to learn more and will update this story.
OHSU hosted a testing site earlier in the pandemic. The most recent site, held in February, was closed as the demand for COVID vaccines outpaced the demand for testing and vaccine clinics opened. But local doctor offices, clinics and pharmacies are now inundated with testing requests as the delta variant spreads.
“Everybody’s kind of trying to hire the same staff right now between health systems, public health and other venues like pharmacies, there’s a big demand on the same staffing,” said Multnomah County Health Director Jessica Guernsey.
Opening a drive-up testing site will also help alleviate the strain on hospital emergency departments already overwhelmed with COVID patients.
Meanwhile, Oregon counties are expanding their free same-day testing and vaccination clinics at several locations.